Gruene Coffee Haus: BeFunky

By Lisa Johnson:

I’ve been thinking for some time about a topic for my next blog entry. I knew that I wanted to highlight photo tools and filters, but didn’t quite feel that these topics in it of themselves were meaningful. Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Tech Forum in Austin, Texas. The keynote speaker was Dean Shareski and his speech was on “What Matters Now”. From his inspirational and thought-provoking message, I took away the ideas of play, joy, and storytelling.


As family photos are a source of tradition and meaning, I decided to share some tools for creating a memorable story with our photos… whether it be a joyous occasion, a candid playful moment, or a time-honored tradition.

Once you have captured the perfect pic, check out some of these free iOS apps and web tools for adding a splash of joy and jazz to your image.

Apps for Photo Filters/Effects:

Web Tools with Photo Filters/Effects:

  • editing, photo effects, frames, text
  • Pixlr-o-matic: filters, effects, and frames
  • Piknik: editing, photo effects, text, stickers, frames, and collages

GruenePhotos: Video (compiled with iPhoto) highlights examples of all tools listed!

Now that you have mastered the art and joy of photo filters, frames, and funky effects, consider a project that makes a treasured statement. With the holidays quickly approaching, some of these out-of-the box image projects can tell your family story in a unique way:

Young Me Now Me Photo from Gallery

  • Young Me Now Me: Reenact a childhood photo
  • History Pin: Locate old family photos and “pin” them to current images of the same places today.

History Pin: The Alamo

  • Create Your Own Letter Photo Art: Rather than purchase a ready-made letter art gift, create your own. Visit places in your town that hold meaning to you and your family and capture letters from each to spell out a name, word, or feeling.

STORY : Built from Letters in Gruene

The beauty of all of these ideas is the stories that they each tell. Consider sharing your story and your project with your family members and make it a family affair. When finished, publish your treasured photo story in a variety of fashions (e.g. online photo books, collages, a video or trailer, or a scrapbook). How will you let your imagination, family, tradition, and history frame your story?

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